Norway sovereign wealth fund enters US property market

Norway's Government Pension Fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, said Monday it had entered the US real estate market by investing $600 million (448 million euros) in five office properties.

The fund bought a 49.9 percent stake in five office buildings in Washington DC, New York and Boston after forming a joint venture with the seller, TIAA-CREF, a pension fund.

The US fund will retain a 50.1 percent holding and will be responsible for managing the properties, it said.

"As the world's largest real estate market, the US will be an important part of the fund's long-term property portfolio," said Karsten Kallevig, chief investment officer for real estate at the Norwegian central bank unit responsible for managing the fund's assets.

"We will initially seek to invest in key east coast cities," he added.

The Government Pension Fund is the main investment vehicle for Norway's oil revenue and is estimated by the US-based SWF Institute to be the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.

The value of its assets currently stands at around 3,892 billion kroner (527.2 billion euros or $707.4 billion).

The fund has said it wants real estate to account for 5 percent of its global investment portfolio in the future, compared to only 0.3 percent at the end of September last year.

Since 2011 it has made acquisitions in London, Paris, Berlin and Frankfurt -- all of them through partnerships with other investors.